By Kelechi Henry.
Recounting the words of Owelle Rochas Okorocha “we will fix this country and rebuild the Nigeria we can be proud of, that is what we owe the youths of this generation and coming ones.”
As the nation takes another turn to mark her democracy day come 12th June , there is need to take a good look at the national issues that calls for immediate concerns for paving the way forward at this time of our nations unity being bedeviled and threatened at all quarters.
The 1993 June 12 election , the battle to take over power from the military rulership of the country to a democratically elected government, this was a contest between the major political parties of that time ,the Social Democratic Party SDP and National Republican Convention NRC,where the two presidential flag bearers Chief M.K.O Abiola and Alhj.Bashir Tofa respectively ,took the race to occupy the number one position in the country and the ushering in of a civilian government after many years of military dictatorship.
The June 12 election as memorably called was quoted to be the most credible election ever held in the history of this nation and was never thought that its hope to birth the next democratic elected administration of civilian rulership will become a dream dashed to the hard rocks on our political journey as a nation. Characterized with the annulment of the result of that election and refusal to announce the winner by the military government of that time charted a new path down history lane for the nation in governance.
Southwest denial of presidency became the feotus of that cancellation which was later seen in a way of compensation and the path to healing in the Southwest during the 1999 Presidential election with the emergence of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo as president of the country sworn in 1999 May 29 after an electoral contest intentionally zoned to the southwest, between Obasanjo and Olu Falaye of the Yoruba extraction, about six years later from the initial attempt to bring in a democratic elected government into power.
The June 12 episode should remind us of all the sad denials Nigerians get from bad governance and poor leadership resulting to injustice, insecurity, poor health systems, poverty and hunger, unemployment, restiveness, corruption, killings, banditry, kidnappings, nepotism, failing educational system and institutions, insensitive leadership, marginalization and violation of human rights, terrorism, weakened institutions of governance, poor economy, ethnic profilings, secession movements, etc, the list is endless and addressing these challenges in providing a lasting solutions for the building of our nation’s unity again as the giant of Africa and strongest black nation in the world, should be intentional with the political will power we had in the 1999 election that birth healing and the compensation for the Southwest on the trauma of 1993 June 12 election known as one of the most credible elections in the history of our nation unbelievably under the watch of military rulership.
Intentionally zoning the 2023 presidential election to the candidates from the Southeast as it was done in 1999 presidential election to the Southwest, should be considered as major way forward for rebuilding the broken limes of unity and a call for one Nigeria.
The Igbos, Eastern Nigeria have had its’ fair share of relegations and denials since after the 1967 civil war episode, though has risen to serve in several capacities in the nations’ political office space but has not been overwhelmingly considered for the number one office of the country since 1967 not because they are not qualified or capacity wise but for reasons yet to be brought on the table for everyone to see, this and many more reasons have given rise to the clouds gathering of voices calling for a fall out from the Nigerian entity.
The way forward is not a breakaway of any of the ethnicities that constitute the big project Nigeria but a real look at the issues with the political will power to bring true changes, healings and compensations to every Nigerian for the several denials we all have suffered as a result of bad leadership and insensitive governance, just as we did in 1999 presidential elections.